A quilter could literally spend hours looking through the notions section of any fabric store and come away with any number of fun and useful gadgets. There are rulers, templates, marking devices, pins, and cutting tools that are designed to make the quilting experience more efficient. I have written about several of those tools in previous blogs and aim to share five of my newest favorites in this edition.
The first tool is the Roll and Press by Clover which I purchased at the Bernina store in Lincoln. I found it particularly useful this past summer when I was working paper pieces for the Unicorn by Violet Craft. Instead of pressing with iron after adding each piece, I simply ran the Roll and Press over the seam and that gave it just enough of a crease so that I could add the next piece. I also used it when I was stitching fabric postcards so that I didn’t have to move to the iron every time I added a piece of fabric.
The second tool is the Mini Wonder clips also made by Clover. I don’t usually use pins to hold binding in place but did so on the Dream Big panels. The binding that I used was a facing so it was wider than normal binding and was harder to hold as I was stitching. The Wonder Clips were easier to use than pins because they just slipped over the edge.
The third tool is called Sew-Tites Minis that I have found very useful when doing English Paper-Piecing. I have been working on a project that has rather large hexagons and my hands get soar when I grip two of them together. I found that pinning was not an option because the pins get in the way of the seam that I am stitching. These magnetic rectangles can hold the two pieces together until I have finished stitching the entire seam. They also come in larger rectangles and dots.
The fourth tool is a light box that Tom made for me out of supplies that we already at available at home. He set my Sew Steady table on top of my cutting table and placed a flat flashlight underneath. This set up worked really well when I needed to align the markings on the paper pieces for the Unicorn quilt. Many of those pieces are larger than can be printed on an 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of paper. I was able to easily tape two pieces together when the light was shining through from underneath the paper.
The final tool is Preview Paper that I purchased at Country Traditions in Fremont. I use this see-through plastic along with an Expo marker to audition quilting designs. I simply lay it on top of the quilt and draw the designs to see if what I think will work actually does before I stitch it out. I have also found it helpful when helping customers choose a custom quilting design. The marked design then easily comes off with a piece of batting and I am ready to use it for another quilt.
I’m sure that each one of these tools has several other uses. I just need to find some new projects and see how I can use them. Have you found other uses for these tools? Leave a comment below and let me know.